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Rochester Mini Maker Faire 2016 – Recap



Today was the 2016 Rochester Mini Maker Faire in the Riverside Convention Center.  We had a blast, and hope you all did too.  As you can see in the photos, we had quite the nice spread of things we were displaying and demoing.  Here’s a list of things that we showed.  Many of these will become links in the future, as we add more detailed descriptions about the projects…  (from left to right)

  • R.U.D.I. – Rudimentary Utility Droid Intelligence from Bill HK
  • Raspberry Pi Backup Server – Carl
  • Merlin-duino – Arduino Pro Mini and RGB LEDs in a 1980s Merlin game – Scott
  • Amibian – RasPi running the UAE Amiga Emulator and our info slideshow – Scott
  • LED Interlock Sign – “Interlock” in bright friendly letters – Carl
  • Walter – Motion Capture Puppet in Technic Lego, etc – Scott
  • Friendly Plastic – Low-melting-temperature moldable plastic – Joe


Here’s a brief recap of our experiences with the event…


  • We ran out of 160 fliers.  I should have printed more.  I just didn’t understand the volume of demand.
  • One potentiometer failed hard on Walter.  His mouth wouldn’t open correctly.


  • We ran out of fliers!  We had so much interest that all 160 fliers were gone!  (see below for the solution key for the puzzles on the back!
  • Check-in and interaction with all event people was awesome.
  • Dan ran another great event! Thanks Dan!
  • We had 4 members who were there for the full day, running demos and talking with people. (Scott, Carl, Bill HK, Joe)
  • Carl brought a delicious pastry for us all to share, and Bill brought some refreshing water. THANK YOU!

All in all, it was a great day, and I am super thankful to you all for participating!

Note: On the back of our handout (before we ran out of them) were a few puzzles to do.  In case you got stuck on them, or want to check your work, here are the solutions:

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from on November 19th, 2016Comments0 Comments

Raspberry Pi Backup Server

Last week I presented on How Do I Make a backup server with a raspberrypi. I covered going from a fresh pi to working network drive in probably about 30 minutes of actual work along with 30 minutes of talking about options for other things to do. There were 6 or so people that came and for those people, and others that could not make it, here are my notes on how to do this. It is not a recipe file with step by step with commands that can be cut and pasted. This is because there are lots of options and the values I use are going to be different that what you will need on your network. These instructions will guide you through this and tell you where to get things.

Buy raspi 2 or 3, hard drive(s), case(s), sd card
Download Raspian –
Write image to sd card –
connect keyboard and network to raspi

Boot raspi
login: pi password: raspberry

edit /etc/default/keyboard, change gb to us, save and reboot

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

useradd to create the network backup owner
ssh-keygen to make .ssh and some keys
edit ~netback/.ssh/authorized_keys to add your keys

apt-get install samba samba-common-bin nfs-common nfs-server rsync

parted to check partitions on USB disks
mkfs to create the file systems
edit /etc/fstab to mount the USB drives

edit /etc/samba/smb.conf
start nmbd and smbd
smbpasswd -a netback
edit /etc/exports
update the nfs-kernel-server files
start service
Use rsync from linux or mac to backup to the raspi

export PATH=/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin

if [ “X$1” == “X” ]; then
echo “Missing argument”
echo “Usage: $0 {1|2}”
exit 1

DAY=`date +%d`

if [ -d $BACKDIR ]; then
rm -rf $BACKDIR

mkdir $BACKDIR

time rsync -avHb –backup-dir=$BACKDIR –delete$SRCDIR . > $LOGFILE 2>&1

tail -30 $LOGFILE | Mail -s “rasp01 nightly sync $1 of colossus”

exit 0

from on September 20th, 2016Comments0 Comments

How Do I … Encryption


padlock-157619_960_720[1]Next week, June 14th we’ll be continuing our seminar series that teaches about core things we use. This month will be an introduction to encryption. This will be a hands on, practical learning about the basics of things like symmetric vs asymmetric ciphers, hashing vs key derivation functions, the good and bad of normal algorithms, and maybe some demos using existing libraries like NaCL. As always, this is open to the public and all are welcome. You can RSVP here so that we can plan for enough spots.

from on June 9th, 2016Comments0 Comments